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World Arthritis Day!

Arthritis means inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis? Learn about the 2 most common ones, including what they are, what happens, and their symptoms.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

What it is: More people have this condition than any other form of arthritis. It's the "wear and tear" that happens when your joints are injured, degenerate, or overused, as a result of overuse,trauma, or altered movement patterns (i.e. poor posture, limping, etc…). It usually happens with age but can also come from joint injuries or obesity, which puts extra stress on your joints.

Joints that bear weight -- such as knees, hips, feet, and spine -- are the most common places affected. It often comes on gradually over months or years, making the affected joint hurt -- but you don’t feel sick or have the fatigue that comes with some other types of arthritis.

What happens: You lose your body's shock absorber. Cartilage, the slippery material that covers the ends of bones, gradually breaks down. One example is what can happen to your knees when you're overweight. The extra pounds put more pressure on the cartilage as it gets squeezed between the bones. It gets damaged and wears away, so there isn't as much left to cushion the joint.

The damaged cartilage makes movement painful. You may hear a grating sound when the roughened cartilage on the surface of the bones rubs together and you may get painful spurs or bumps on the end of the bones, especially on fingers and feet.

Symptoms: depend on which joint or joints are affected. You may have:

  • Deep, aching pain

  • Trouble dressing, combing hair, gripping things, bending over, squatting, or climbing stairs. depending on which joints are involved

  • Morning stiffness for less than an hour

  • Pain when walking

  • Stiffness after resting

Your joint may be:

  • Warm to the touch

  • Swollen and harder to move

  • Unable to move through a full range of motion

RheumatoidArthritis (RA)

What it is: RA is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks parts of the body - especially the joints. This leads to inflammation, which can cause severe joint damage if not treated. About 1 out of every 5 people with RA get lumps on their skin called rheumatoid nodules. These often form over joint areas that receive pressure, such as knuckles, elbows, or heels.

What happens: Doctors don't know exactly what causes RA. Some experts believe the immune system becomes "confused" after a bacterial or viral infection and starts attacking your joints. This battle can spread to other areas of the body.

Scientists think two of the body's chemicals that are related to inflammation, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1, trigger other parts of the immune system in rheumatoid arthritis. Medicines that block TNF, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6 can improve the symptoms and prevent joint damage.

can come on gradually or start suddenly and are often more severe than osteoarthritis. There may be pain, stiffness and swelling in hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, jaw, and neck. RA usually affects multiple joints.

There tends to be a symmetrical pattern, too. When the knuckles on your left hand are inflamed, the knuckles on your right hand probably will be as well. After time,you may notice more joints feel warm, painful or swollen.

The joint swelling doesn't go away and affects things like opening a jar, driving, working, walking, and other activities of daily living.

The stiffness that usually starts in the morning may later last hours or even most of the day. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss can also occur. RA can also affect other organs including the heart, lungs, and eyes.

Can Chiropractic Help?

Doctors of Chiropractic look at your overall health – not only your osteoarthritis but also your lifestyle. This total approach to wellness helps determine the best treatment for your problem. To help find the cause of your arthritis, you and your Chiropractor will discuss your symptoms, prior injuries, health history, and your lifestyle – both work-related and leisure activities.

  • Physical Exam – Physical, orthopedic (bone & muscle), and neurological (nerve)tests can help reveal the condition of your spine and joints. Your chiropractor gently touches and moves your spine and joints to locate tenderness, pain, swelling, and restricted range of motion.

  • X-rays – as “blueprints” of your bones, x-rays can reveal arthritis or other problems such as fractures and diseases or your bones. Other tests can be done, if necessary.

  • Diagnosis – based on the results of your exam and tests, your chiropractor may recommend a treatment program to improve the range of motion in your joints and relieve pain. If needed, your chiropractor also consults or refers you to other medical specialists.

In Celebration of National Chiropractic Month!

  • New Patients receive 30% off first visit*! (regularly $90 - $150)

  • Existing Patients with a New Condition* receive 30% off! (regularly $45 - $70)

* 30% Off Promotion is for New Patient-Initial Visit and Existing Patient-New Condition Visit from 10/1/17 - 10/31/17

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